After an exciting first week, let’s take a look at who moved up and who moved down.
1. Baltimore Ravens (1-0 ) – Could Joe Flacco have finally put it all together? If so, that could be a scary thing for the rest of the AFC. Meanwhile, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis showed they still can get it done.
2. New England Patriots (1-0) – He may not be the running back he used to be, but it’s an encouraging sign for the Pats defense that they held Chris Johnson to just four rushing yards. If Stevan Ridley is the real deal and not just a week one fluke, New England will impossible to stop on offense.
3. San Francisco 49ers (1-0)- An impressive win against a team many believe to be the best in the league. It’s difficult to imagine Alex Smith playing that well every week, but it’s certainly an encouraging start.
4. Green Bay Packers (0-1) – Aaron Rodgers had a nice game (303 yards, two TDs), but it’s not good when he is also the team’s leading rusher.
5. Houston Texans (1-0) – Yes, it was the Dolphins, but the Texans looked good in every element of the game.
6. Chicago Bears (1-0) – See above and replace team names accordingly.
7. Atlanta Falcons (1-0) – It’s not easy to win in Arrowhead, but the Falcons made it look that way on Sunday. A good way to bounce back for a team that only scored two points in their playoff exit last season.
8. Denver Broncos (1-0) – Peyton Manning’s stellar first game is causing this knee-jerk reaction. He looked to be in midseason form, not someone who hasn’t played in a year and half and was coming off multiple neck surgeries.
9. Dallas Cowboys (1-0) – When Tony Romo plays like he did against the Giants on Wednesday, the Cowboys look like Super Bowl contenders. We’ll see if he can finally put it together for an entire season.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) – Really, the Steelers didn’t play all that poorly. A pick six late in the fourth (when the Steelers still had an opportunity to take the lead) makes the game look more lopsided than it really was.
11. New York Giants (0-1) – Outside of the pass rush, the Giants are going to need better play from their defense to keep pace in the NFC East, where they are the only team without a win.
12. Detroit Lions (1-0) – Yes, they barely squeaked by the Rams, but I don’t expect Matthew Stafford to be that careless with the ball all season. The Lions offense was still good, totaling 429 yards in their season debut.
13. New Orleans Saints (0-1) – How much of that performance had to do with the consequences from Bountygate? Or are the Saints just not the same team anymore? My guess is that it is a combination of the two.
14. San Diego Chargers (1-0) – With all of that great field position, the Chargers should have won by 30, which is why this might feel a little high. The good news is Ryan Mathews might be ready to go for week two, and Philip Rivers looked more like the quarterback we used to know.
15. Washington Redskins (1-0) - How good did RGIII look? Assuming that wasn’t a week one fluke, the Redskins could win their next their next three games (at St. Louis, Cincincatti, at Tampa Bay).
16. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) – The Eagles win and drop five spots in my rankings. That’s what happens when you turn the ball over consistently and need a late touchdown to beat the Browns (who could go winless).
17. New York Jets (1-0) – The Jets could not have hoped for a better start, especially from the offense. An upset against the Steelers this week could restart the playoff chatter.
18. Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) – The Chiefs offense isn’t as bad as it showed against Atlanta and it is a good sign that their offense kept them in the game for a while.
19. Arizona Cardinals (1-0) – Kevin Kolb didn’t look half bad!
20. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) – As I mentioned in Greg Kaplan and I’s podcast this week, I wasn’t as big on the Bengals preseason as most, but they are better than what they showed Monday night.
21. Tennessee Titans (0-1) – What did you expect to happen? They were facing New England. But it is not a good sign of things to come that Chris Johnson only mustered four rushing yards.
22. Tampa Bay Bucaneers (1-0) – Are these going to be the Bucs that always seemed to win close games in 2010? Doug Martin looked like the real deal in his NFL debut.
23. Buffalo Bills (0-1) – It’s only one game, and they do have an easy schedule, but the “revamped” defense will need to be much better than it was against the Jets moving forward.
24. Carolina Panthers (0-1) – Until shown otherwise, I’m not convinced that Cam Newton and the Panthers can do anything but score points when it doesn’t matter.
25. Seattle Seahawks (0-1) – The Seahawks didn’t look anything like the Super Bowl team some thought they could be.
26. Minnesota Vikings (1-0) – With a game against the Colts in week two, the Vikings could start out the year with two wins.
27. Oakland Raiders (0-1) – Given that the longsnapper couldn’t, well, snap, the Raiders actually did a good job at keeping the game close against the Chargers.
28. St. Louis Rams (0-1) – The Rams almost stole a win from the Lions. This is a make or break year for Sam Bradford.
29. Indianapolis Colts (0-1) – Andrew Luck had his ups and downs in his NFL debut. Could he get his first career win against the Vikings this week?
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) – The good news is that MJD didn’t appear to have a Holdout Hangover.
31. Miami Dolphins (0-1) – The Dolphins held a 3-0 lead over Houston late in the second quarter, but turnovers transformed the game into a blowout before halftime.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-1) – Will that be the closest the Browns get to a win all season?